Finance is hardly known for its youthfulness, yet this year’s Finance 30 Under 30s are proving that an old industry can learn new tricks. These young venture capitalists, fintech entrepreneurs, crypto enthusiasts and Millennial bankers, with an average age of just 27, are reshaping the sector and transforming our relationship with money.
The members of our 2019 cohort were shortlisted from over 600 online nominations, researched by a team of reporters at Forbes and across Europe, and then evaluated by a blue ribbon panel of judges. Our panel included Ana Botín, executive chair of Santander; Jan Hammer, general partner at Index Ventures; Evgenia Plotnikova, principal at Dawn Capital and an alumna of 2018’s Under 30 Europe list; and Jamie Burke, founder and CEO of Outlier Ventures. The final list is built from their recommendations.
At just 22, Harry Stebbings is this year’s youngest listmaker and has already had a bigger impact on the venture capital industry than many double his age. His podcast, The Twenty Minute VC, has been downloaded over 100 million times, and his weekly quick-fire interviews with over 200 VCs have become essential listening. Last year Stebbings raised £40 million to cofound his own micro-VC fund which has already invested in healthcare startup Forward Health and car marketplace Kazoo.
The challenge of promoting diversity in the finance industry has never been more crucial, and London-based Francesca Warner, 29, is leading the charge. An alumna of Cambridge University, her nonprofit Diversity VC is working to promote diversity and inclusion in venture capital and entrepreneurship, most recently helping to collect and publish the first pipeline data from 45 VC funds.
Jonathan Levin, 28, cofounded Chainalysis in 2014 to make cryptocurrency data universally accessible. After finding early success in tracing Bitcoin transactions, Levin’s team has since raised over $17 million from top tier VCs like Benchmark and now specialize in tracking all kinds of tokens working alongside businesses, banks and law enforcement.
Since graduating from King’s College London in just 2014, Eleonore Butler, 25, has risen rapidly to become an associate at listed VC fund Draper Esprit in Paris. Last year Butler led Draper Esprit’s £18 million investment into French cryptocurrency security giant Ledger. Meanwhile, Gina Kirch last year became the youngest director at BlackRock globally, rising quickly through the ranks from summer analyst in 2009 all the way to heading up strategic partnerships and defined contribution investments for BlackRock’s U.K. Retirement business today.
The SoftBank Vision Fund is the world’s largest technology investment fund, leading multibillion-dollar investments into the likes of Uber and WeWork. Coming from PwC, Camila Russell, 29, is leading the global execution team at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
At just 29 Ben Grabiner last year sold his first startup, Platoon, to Apple. A management consultant turned VC, Grabiner launched Platoon in 2016 with cofounders Denzyl Feigelson and Saul Klein, the star London investor, after spotting an opportunity to find, fund and market emerging musicians, launching the careers of artists like Jorja Smith and Billie Eilish.
Our listmakers barely scratch the surface of the incredible work being done by 2019’s cohort. These pioneers of finance are on the fast track to transform our relationship with money. Thanks to all of our judges and to everyone who nominated candidates.
Be sure to check out the entire list to get an early read on some of the most exciting up-and-coming financiers in Europe. And if you know a young financial entrepreneur doing something amazing that we’ve missed, do let us know.